Ahoy me hearties! Let’s welcome back Julie B. with a review of Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. Isn’t it fun when you find this place open?! And we love that Julie found the place empty. Wow.
If you’re like me, you can never get enough pirates! You love the ride, the movies, and the hilarious, charming Jack Sparrow (pardon me… Captain Jack Sparrow). But you may not know you can eat like a pirate too!
Enter Tortuga Tavern! Formerly known as El Pirata Y El Perico, the restaurant was refurbished and updated a while back.
The menu is basically the same, but the restaurant was renamed to match the island of Tortuga known from the Pirates series.
Tortuga Tavern is a calmer retreat from the busy Pirates plaza. With outdoor and covered seating, you can get a little reprieve from the Florida heat.
It also offers a mild Caribbean theme mixed in with a pirate tavern.
The tables are all spread out and the themeing lacks excitement.
If you like to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, there is a magic portal in the toppings bar room.
This is open even when the restaurant is not, so if you happen by on a day that Tortuga is closed, you can still check it out.
On multiple visits, it has also been remarkably calm for a quick service restaurant! Unlike many other lunchtime spots, there’s not much competition for tables and the lines are short. Maybe this is because it’s not often open, so people only eat there on a last-minute whim.
The menu at Tortuga Tavern is basically the same as the menu from El Pirata Y El Perico. There are five menu options: Beef or Chicken Burritos, Beef Nachos, Taco Salad, Caesar Salad, and Vegetarian Burritos.
I really enjoyed the chicken burrito, though I was a little surprised when it came as just an open flour tortilla filled with cilantro rice, beans, and seasoned chicken (with a sour cream pack on the side).
They quickly pointed me in the direction of the topping bar so you can complete your meal. (You may recognize this style from the neighboring Pecos Bills).
The toppings bar is fabulous because it allows you to customize what you want to eat! Options include shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and salsa.
Also available are hot sauce and taco sauce packets.
I composed my masterpiece and then tried to wrap it, but that was…slightly less than successful.
A fork and a knife work just fine though! This is definitely a meal to carry you through a long day at the parks or the perfect thing to share.
Next up was the Taco Salad. I was super excited for this one — you just can’t go wrong with a salad when it involves a fried tortilla bowl!
The presentation is a little startling on this dish too when you’re served a bowl with just beef at the bottom. Everything else is added at the toppings bar.
This method doesn’t make for the prettiest salad but it is very tasty! I do prefer Pecos Bill’s version though. It’s the exact same thing, except Pecos Bill’s toppings bar also has grilled onions, mushrooms, and salad dressings (I made my own salsa ranch — yum).
If you reeeeeally want those mushrooms and onions, you could always take your tray over to Pecos Bill’s next door and snag the toppings there.
My favorite part of the entire salad is actually the end, when you reach the taco shell’s bottom. It’s coated with a lovely layer of seasoning and juice form the taco meet. It may be oily, but it’s delicious!
Kids’ choices are a little limited at the Tavern.
The kids’ meal of Cheese Quesadillas comes with two small quesadilla pockets on a plate.
It doesn’t look like enough food to fill anybody up, even with the standard kids’ meal sides.
I know AJ has some reviews coming up soon of desserts and the Non-Alcoholic Sangria, so here’s a sneak peek at the Chocolate Cake!
I truly enjoyed lunch at Tortuga Tavern. It’s a shame that it is only open during lunchtime, because I’d love a hearty burrito for dinner, too!
This swashbuckling stop will definitely be a frequent lunch destination for me.
Editor’s Note: Tortuga Tavern is usually only open during extremely busy days at the Magic Kingdom.
Say “Aye” if you wish Tortuga Tavern was open on your next Magic Kingdom visit! And, let us know what you think about the menu and theme at this pirate-y place.